Museum to Museum Partnership Program for Timor-Leste

Museum to Museum partnership program for Timor-Leste

East Timorese landscapeThe Museum to Museum partnership program for Timor-Leste was developed under the 'UNESCO Programme for the Preservation of Endangered Movable Cultural Properties' to promote international technical cooperation for museums in Least Developing Countries (LDC), Low Income Countries (LIC) and countries in transition, as well as those in post conflict situations. The program focuses on the protection, conservation and presentation of "endangered movable cultural properties".

Implemented by UNESCO Jakarta, the Museum to Museum Partnership Program for Timor-Leste aims to provide a practical and sensible framework to aid in the development and support of a national museum.

The VISION for the development of the National Museum of Timor-Leste is to:

  1. serve and involve the community, to show young people the importance of history and living culture and to be involved in programs that build community
  2. build and develop a new National Museum of Timor-Leste to international museum standards
  3. ensure good preparation and conservation of objects
  4. develop programs in the history and prehistory of Timor-Leste to show culture nationally and internationally of the world's newest nation Timor-Leste

The MISSION for the development of the National Museum of Timor-Leste is to:

  1. undertake proper planning for short term, middle term and long term development
  2. develop programs for the conservation of the collection, the promotion of the Museum for the community, and for the ongoing development of the Museum
  3. encourage partnerships which include participants in other countries in the region, in order to show Timor-Leste identity nationally and internationally
  4. build a national museum to international standards

Workshop in East TimorThe Museum-to-Museum program is supported by a number of partners. The Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation at the University of Melbourne has received support from two internal funds. The Vice-Chancellor's SIAF Allocation for Steering Committees. This allocation aims to establish steering committees that facilitate inter-faculty and cross-disciplinary collaborations within the University, and between the University and the wider community. Such multi-disciplinary groupings aids in the University's contribution to public life through 'knowledge transfer'. The Knowledge Transfer Grants provided funds for the development of a Museum to Museum program website. The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory has received support from AusAid through the Australian Leadership Awards Fellowships.

Museum to Museum strategic plan

East Timor Protecting moveable cultural objectsUNESCO mission and staff at the Department of Culture have discussed the Vision and Mission of the National Museum of East Timor, the structure of the Museum and the Museum building. They have provided suggestions for museum to museum programs that would assist and support the Ministry of Culture in the development of the National Museum. These were:

Implement exchange programs for culture, collections/exhibitions, experience and ideas. Areas for exchange are management, documentation, conservation (including textiles and paper), exhibitions and living culture, displays and collections.

Develop a study program of topics, invite people to East Timor, hold training workshops, and undertake research. The topics for the study program are conservation, building design, good management, techniques for display, community involvement, techniques for exhibition, travel to develop overseas experience of museum for East Timor, documentation, histories and prehistories, and research.

East Timorese people involved in the projectInvolve the community and students in exchange programs and include living culture, like dance. Suggestions for programs included socialisation of the community to the museum by holding a competition in the museum, having a market for souvenirs in museums, promote the museum, develop an audio visual exhibition, provide training for community and students, how to involve community and students in planning, develop the role of the museum for recreation, develop a book stall, invite community and international representatives for Celebration Day, involve village leaders, prepare catalogue for distribution.

For international promotion of Timor-Leste Museum participants agreed on the following plan:

  1. Develop agreed rules and goals and an agreed budget
  2. Engagement with Government for agreement
  3. Develop a catalogue of the collection with logo to promote the objects and their history
  4. Implement an international seminar and training program
  5. Develop an international standard exhibition including the collection and living culture, initiate the travelling exhibition program in Darwin and invite Government officials of Timor-Leste
  6. Identify equipment needed for the museum
  7. Develop a program of performance in museum

Staff at the Department of Culture also considered it useful to work with the Department of Environment and Training, and to form a multi-department committee from Education, Tourism, Media, and Environment to work on a promotion program for the Museum. Staff also noted that for the development of the museum staffing stability was important, and that there needed to be staff continuity for program development.